As most of you know I am a pantser. With that, comes surprise after surprise at what my protagonist, Shawny, says and does.
I am writing the sequel to Timber Point, as I’ve said before, and lately I find myself shocked by Shawny’s actions and reactions. Not to mention her mouth. Some of the things that come out of that woman’s mouth are absolutely unbelievable.
Yesterday I was writing in my sun room, my husband, Bob, sitting at the table reading, when suddenly, I burst into hysterics– laughing so hard I was literally in tears! Seconds later, I gasped.
Bob looked over at me, his almond-shaped cinnamon eyes peering above his wire-framed reading glasses, and said, “What’s so funny?”
“It’s Shawny,” I replied. “She cracks me up! I just can’t believe she said that to Levon (her fiancé)!”
His response was, “Uh,” his eyebrows gathered, his head cocked, “aren’t you the one who’s writing what she says?”
“No! It’s not me, it’s her! I have no control over her. I’m only the conduit she uses to get her words on the screen.” I meant it too. I really don’t have any control over Shawny. I doubt anyone could control Shawny, let alone me.
I went on to explain how the process works. He still didn’t understand. Why? Because he isn’t a writer.
However, most of you are, so I figured you could appreciate this story.
We make our characters so believable and three-dimensional that they take on a life of their own. We miss them when we shut down the computer. We think about them when we are not with them. And we’re excited to see them again when we sit down to write. At least I do.
Shawny has become one of my favorite people. She’s complicated, yes, but deep down she has a huge heart and only wants to be loved. I “get her”. Her bad side, her good side, and everything in between. She’s my friend. She’s part of me. I love her like I’d love another human being. I can’t imagine not spending time with her, and I hope I don’t have to say good-bye to her anytime soon. If I have it my way, we’ll be writing together for many years.
What about you? Do you feel the same way about your protagonist, or am I just weird? I’m guessing you do, but I’d love confirmation. If not for anything else, so Bob doesn’t think I’m cracking up.